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BLOG: Could Avaya be the Apple of enterprises?

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 24, 2011
Avaya, one of the top players in the Asia Pacific region in unified communications (UC) and contact centre (CC) solutions business, seems set to turn a new leaf.

Success always riles your competition. In July this year, there were stories that claimed that Avaya could file for an initial public offering of $1 billion. When the rumours started, Avaya declined to comment on any sort of speculation. In Bangkok, I asked Jeremy Butt, vice president, worldwide channels, Avaya, about the IPO rumours. He also declined comments.

Avaya has had a good year in 2011 and expects a strong year in 2012. Avaya is clearly playing the game positively. The company is confident because it is going from success to success: its products are innovative and compatible with other vendors' gear, and it is going from selling products to providing end-to-end communications solutions. The company is upbeat about its products such as Avaya Flare and Web.alive. Avaya Flare is a software platform with a graphical user interface that simplifies collaboration and conferencing. Flare was introduced along with a tablet to support it, but it is designed with the intent to support any endpoint.

In a video message to the delegates at Bangkok, Avaya's president and CEO Kevin Kennedy said that because of Avaya's (including Nortel's) large install base, there is a limited window of opportunity to migrate customers to new technology. Outlining Avaya's new strategy in broad terms, Kennedy said that "execution is everything and details matter". This is important because Avaya is now moving into value-selling and providing end-to-end communications and data solutions to its customers.

Like Apple, Avaya is taking the approach of building technologies based around customer needs, and not the other way around. It surely bodes well for Avaya's future.

Zafar Anjum is the online editor of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia. He travelled to Bangkok as a guest of Avaya.


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